Wealthpoint has created a senior position to lead work on delivering a core component of the group’s new three-year strategic plan. This strategy, endorsed by the Wealthpoint board in May, sees the group focus on ongoing growth through an industry leading customer proposition across all four key advice disciplines of investments, life and health insurance, general insurance and mortgages.
Evan Cavanagh will join the co-operative in mid-July as Head of Insurance and Lending. He has more than 20 years’ experience in the insurance industry having previously worked as a claims manager, senior underwriter and strategic alliances account manager in roles with Sovereign and Fidelity Life.
His most recent role was to lead the insurance products team at New Zealand Home Loans where he was responsible for growing their insurance capability and sales activity.
Mark Nalder, Wealthpoint’s Head of Strategy and Growth, says that this new role was created in response to member feedback that it has become increasingly difficult to connect clients to the life and health insurance advice and products solutions they need. Underinsurance, a perennial issue in New Zealand, is not improving and some financial advisers are pivoting to other advice specialties or leaving the industry altogether.
Advisers and their customers also face significant headwinds with ongoing regulatory change, service levels impacted by insurers dealing with Covid and workplace flexibility norms and generally higher costs to service existing clients.
Nalder says Cavanagh will also work closely with Wealthpoint’s broad insurer panel to implement efficiencies for advisers with underwriting and claims and will co-develop sales and marketing initiatives, and improved templates and technology to deliver growth to this category for Wealthpoint members.
“We think Evan has a unique set of skills and we feel very fortunate to have secured him to support our members. Evan has significant claims and underwriting experience and is well respected in these roles but has also been very successful in sales and relationship management roles more recently. We think this is the perfect mix to support our members build their life and health insurance activity,” says Nalder.
Cavanagh will also manage Wealthpoint’s relationships with lenders, building on Wealthpoint’s recently enhanced lending proposition. This has seen Wealthpoint become a full mortgage aggregator with distribution relationships with 11 banks and non-bank lenders, deploying the Trail CRM and workflow tools across its mortgage adviser team.